Legal news from Tuesday, December 7, 2004
19:12 EDT

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives has passed the revised conference report version of an intelligence reform bill based on recommendations from the 9/11 Commission.7:57 PM ET - S. 2845, variously called the National Intelligence Reform Act or (according to the conference report) the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act [read more]

17:12 EDT

[JURIST] Documents released Tuesday by the ACLU pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act proceeding say that Defense Intelligence Agency personnel in Iraq who witnessed abuses of prisoners by a US Special Forces team were threatened to prevent them reporting those abuses, had their car keys taken and e-mails monitored, [read more]

17:12 EDT

[JURIST] A long-awaited reported to Congress by the US Defense Department Inspector General has concluded that "leadership failures" by multiple Air Force secretaries, military chiefs of staff, legal officers and superintendents of the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs resulted in a decade of sexual abuse and harassment of female [read more]

16:12 EDT

[JURIST] The US military's Combatant Status Review Tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has decided to retain custody of 33 more detainees as properly-designated "enemy combatants", according to a military spokesman speaking Tuesday. Thusfar panels of the Tribunal have considered at least 466 review hearings and have handed down 194 decisions. [read more]

16:12 EDT

[JURIST] A Chilean appeals court judge said Tuesday he would consider a criminal complaint against former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet alleging that some 27,255 people were tortured during the period of his rule as part of the government's repression of the opposition. Santiago Appeals Court Judge Joaquin Billard has [read more]

16:12 EDT

[JURIST] Two court-appointed defense lawyers for former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, on trial at The Hague for war crimes, have been told they cannot withdraw from his case. In a ruling Tuesday, the trials chamber of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia held that although Milosevic has been allowed [read more]

14:12 EDT

[JURIST] The US Army said Tuesday that it will convene a court-martial for US Captain Rogelio Maynulet, accused of murdering an Iraqi driver who had been injured by US soldiers during a militia sweep in May. Lawyers for Maynulet said that the driver was shot out of mercy because of [read more]

14:12 EDT

[JURIST] Syria released 112 political detainees, the country's official news agency reported Tuesday. President Bashar al-Asad pardoned the prisoners, many of whom are thought to be Kurdish minorities arrested during a riot last March. This year 160 political prisoners have been released so far. Human rights activists speculate that there [read more]

14:12 EDT

Completing a 30-day sentence, former US Army Sergeant Charles Jenkins was released from the US military base at Camp Zama Japan Tuesday, and allowed to travel to the Japanese city of Sado, where he plans to settle down again with his Japanese wife and daughters. He defected from the US [read more]

13:12 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday concerning state regulation of interstate wine sales. The controversy centers on the New York and Michigan state laws that allow direct in-state, but not out-of-state, shipments of wine. The Constitution implicitly prohibits states from passing laws that discriminate against businesses of another state. [read more]

12:12 EDT

[JURIST] The Ukrainian parliament adjourned again Tuesday without passing a revised electoral reform package previously agreed to in principle by the leaders of the major political factions in the country's ongoing electoral dispute. The parliament had failed to adopt an earlier version of the reform package Saturday, but a second [read more]

12:12 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Kansas is not entitled to seek further damages from Colorado for diverting water from the Arkansas River into Colorado farm lands. The Court had ruled in 2001 that Colorado was liable for millions of dollars in damages and interest, but Kansas had [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] According to a Russian human rights lawyer, the Russian Constitutional Court has cleared the way for lower court reconsideration and possible exoneration of Admiral Alexander Kolchak, the "White Russian" leader of anti-Bolshevik forces in Siberia who was recognized by his supporters as the Supreme Ruler of Russia until he [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] Crusading New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer announced Tuesday that he will run for Governor of New York in 2006. Spitzer, a Democrat, has been New York attorney general since 1999 and appears to have his party's nomination within easy reach absent any competition from other prominent Democrats and [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] Hamid Karzai was officially sworn in Tuesday as President of Afghanistan in an invitation-only ceremony in Kabul. Karzai won the October 9 presidential election with 55.4% of the vote (certified results here). BBC News has more. [read more]

10:12 EDT

[JURIST] The leaseholder of the World Trade Center, destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, won a major legal victory Monday when a Manhattan jury agreed that the attack on the Twin Towers constituted two events for insurance purposes, not just one. If let stand, the verdict would allow [read more]

09:12 EDT

[JURIST] AP has obtained a letter written by an FBI counterterrorism expert working at Guantanamo Bay that complains of abusive military interrogations of prisoners as early as 2002. The letter, written by Thomas Harrington to Maj. Gen. Donald J. Ryder, the Army's chief law enforcement officer, described "highly aggressive interrogation [read more]

09:12 EDT

[JURIST] English comedian Rowan Atkinson, famed for his starring role in Blackadder and other UK comedy series, lashed out Monday evening against a proposed UK law to ban the incitement of religious hatred. Speaking at a meeting in Westminster Hall convened by writers, MPs and groups opposed to the legislation, [read more]

09:12 EDT

[JURIST] Dutch authorities announced Monday that they have arrested a man on the FBI's "Most Wanted" list (see this listing from 2000) for supplying lethal chemicals to Saddam Hussein's Iraq in the 1980s. Frans van Anraat, now 62, is said to have supplied Iraq with the main ingredient of mustard [read more]

09:12 EDT

[JURIST] A trial began Monday in Rabat of five Moroccans formerly held by the US at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, charged with belonging to or assisting a criminal group that was preparing to commit terrorist acts. The five, turned over to Moroccan authorities in August, are all alleged to be Al [read more]

08:12 EDT

[JURIST] The Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington, confirmed Monday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, claiming a lack of funds to cover claims arising from multiple lawsuits against it alleging child sexual abuse by multiple clergy. The diocese already faces at least 19 suits by 58 plaintiffs for [read more]

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